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Fallen rock injures climber, leads to rescue on Mt. Shasta

An injured hiker is rescued from Mount Shasta on July 1, 2018. Photo courtesy Mount Shasta Avalanche Center & Home of the Climbing Rangers Facebook page.

A climber described by authorities as "well-prepared during his ascent" was struck by a fallen rock, suffering injuries and requiring a multi-agency rescue from Mount Shasta, Saturday.

Efforts led by Siskiyou County Search and Rescue and involving several agencies located and rescued David Backlin, 29, of Nevada City, California, in the vicinity of Lake Helen, on Mount Shasta. The initial call for assistance said the injured climber was at an elevation of 11,550 feet along Avalanche Gulch, a popular route with climbers looking to summit Shasta.

A California Air National Guard helicopter found and airlifted the injured hiker to the Old Ski Bowl, where Backlin was then transported to Mercy Mount Shasta Hospital. His injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

"This was another life-saving effort by a dedicated group of professionals and volunteers, willing to risk their lives for others in need,” Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey said.

In addition to the Siskiyou County Search and Rescue team, agencies taking part in the rescue included the USFS Climbing Rangers, California Highway Patrol's H-14 helicopter unit, California OES, and the California National Guard's Spartan 155 helicopter crew.

The initial report of the injured climber was received by the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue team at 5:36 a.m. According to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office, the crew flying the California Air National Guard Spartan 155 helicopter located him at 12:18 p.m. that afternoon.


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